Valentine Holmes joins the New York Jets after playing for five years in the National Rugby League. It’ll be exciting to see if Holmes can adjust to the fast pace of the NFL:

Photo credit: Hannah Peters / Getty Images Sports

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Former National Rugby League winger Valentine Holmes has signed with the New York Jets and hopes to make it in the NFL. Holmes will follow in the footsteps of former Rugby star Jarryd Hayne who played for the San Francisco 49ers back in 2015. Hayne probably could’ve done better if he stuck with it longer but Holmes has one advantage and that’s being younger.

Valentine Holmes is only 23 years old and some of the rookies in the NFL draft will have a few years on him. Hayne was 28 when he played and those mid 20s are a crucial time in a professional football player’s career. So from a development standpoint Holmes has a much bigger window to learn the game and find out how to play at a high level. Of course the Jets will have to keep Holmes on their roster first and foremost but this is a trend we’re starting to see more often. Some of these rugby players have incredible athleticism and Holmes is listed as a wide receiver / running back / kick returner. Right away that tells you he’s a guy who can react very quickly on the football field. A lot of those instincts are developed by evading defenders in rugby and believe it or not it tends to translate over to our sport. On special teams those skills can very be beneficial but it’s much tougher to have success against players in pads. One reason is because it slows everybody down including the ball carrier. The other reason is because the collisions are massive and players are more reckless knowing they have all of that protection. Making it clear Valentine Holmes will face some tough odds but at least he’s taking a shot at his dreams. It’s not easy to go from Australia to the United States and risk it all and for that we should already respect Holmes.

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Valentine Holmes is on the Jets roster and now he’ll have to adjust to the fast pace of the NFL.

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